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I draw you close to me, you women,
I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake, but for others' sakes,
Envelop'd in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.
It is I, you women, I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable, but I love you,
pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these States, I press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties,
I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me.
Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself, you I wrap a thousand onward years,
On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America, The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls, new artists, musicians, and singers,
The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn,
I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them, as I
SPONTANEOUS me, Nature,
The loving day, the mounting sun, the friend I am happy with,
The same late in autumn, the hues of red, yellow, drab, purple, and light and dark green,
The rich coverlet of the grass, animals and birds, the private untrimm'd bank, the primitive apples, the pebble-stones, Beautiful dripping fragments, the negligent list of one after another as I happen to call them to me or think of them, The real poems, (what we call poems being merely pictures,) The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men like me,
This poem drooping shy and unseen that I always carry, and that all men carry,
(Know once for all, avow'd on purpose, wherever are men like me, are our lusty lurking masculine poems,) Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding, love-climbers,
and the climbing sap,
Arms and hands of love, lips of love, phallic thumb of love, breasts of love, bellies press'd and glued together with love, Earth of chaste love, life that is only life after love,
The body of my love, the body of the woman I love, the body of the man, the body of the earth,
Soft forenoon airs that blow from the south-west,
The hairy wild-bee that murmurs and hankers up and down, that gripes the full-grown lady-flower, curves upon her with amorous firm legs, takes his will of her, and holds himself tremulous and tight till he is satisfied;
The wet of woods through the early hours,
Two sleepers at night lying close together as they sleep, one with an arm slanting down across and below the waist of the other, The smell of apples, aromas from crush'd sage-plant, mint, birch
The boy's longings, the glow and pressure as he confides to me what he was dreaming,
The dead leaf whirling its spiral whirl and falling still and content to the ground,
The no-form'd stings that sights, people, objects, sting me with, The hubb'd sting of myself, stinging me as much as it ever can any one,
The sensitive, orbic, underlapp'd brothers, that only privileged feelers may be intimate where they are,
The curious roamer the hand roaming all over the body, the bashful withdrawing of flesh where the fingers soothingly pause and edge themselves,
The limpid liquid within the young man,
The vex'd corrosion so pensive and so painful,
The torment, the irritable tide that will not be at rest,
The young man that flushes and flushes, and the young woman that flushes and flushes,
The young man that wakes deep at night, the hot hand seeking to repress what would master him,
The mystic amorous night, the strange half-welcome pangs, visions,
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers, the young man all color'd, red, ashamed, angry ;
The souse upon me of my lover the sea, as I lie willing and naked, The merriment of the twin babes that crawl over the grass in the sun, the mother never turning her vigilant eyes from them, The walnut-trunk, the walnut-husks, and the ripening or ripen'd long-round walnuts,
The continence of vegetables, birds, animals,
The consequent meanness of me should I skulk or find myself indecent, while birds and animals never once skulk or find themselves indecent,
The great chastity of paternity, to match the great chastity of
The oath of procreation I have sworn, my Adamic and fresh
The greed that eats me day and night with hungry gnaw, till I saturate what shall produce boys to fill my place when I am through,
The wholesome relief, repose, content,
And this bunch pluck'd at random from myself,
I toss it carelessly to fall where it may.
ONE HOUR TO MADNESS AND JOY.
ONE hour to madness and joy! O furious! O confine me not! (What is this that frees me so in storms? What do my shouts amid lightnings and raging winds mean?)
O to drink the mystic deliria deeper than any other man!
O savage and tender achings! (I bequeath them to you my children,
I tell them to you, for reasons, O bridegroom and bride.)
O to be yielded to you whoever you are, and you to be yielded to me in defiance of the world!
O to return to Paradise! O bashful and feminine!
O to draw you to me, to plant on you for the first time the lips of a determin'd man.
O the puzzle, the thrice-tied knot, the deep and dark pool, all untied and illumin'd!
O to speed where there is space enough and air enough at last! To be absolv'd from previous ties and conventions, I from mine and you from yours!
To find a new unthought-of nonchalance with the best of Nature!
To have the gag remov'd from one's mouth!
To have the feeling to-day or any day I am sufficient as I am.
O something unprov'd! something in a trance!
To drive free! to love free! to dash reckless and dangerous!
To ascend, to leap to the heavens of the love indicated to me!
To be lost if it must be so !
To feed the remainder of life with one hour of fulness and freedom! With one brief hour of madness and joy.
OUT OF THE ROLLING OCEAN THE CROWD.
I have travel'd a long way merely to look on you to touch you,
Now we have met, we have look'd, we are safe,
I too am part of that ocean my love, we are not so much separated,
Behold the great rondure, the cohesion of all, how perfect!
Be not impatient a little space- know
ocean and the land,
Every day at sundown for your dear sake my love.
I salute the air, the
AGES AND AGES RETURNING AT INTERVALS.
AGES and ages returning at intervals,
Undestroy'd, wandering immortal,
Lusty, phallic, with the potent original loins, perfectly sweet,
Bathing myself, bathing my songs in Sex,
Through the new garden the West, the great cities calling, Deliriate, thus prelude what is generated, offering these, offering
WE two, how long we were fool'd,
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape as Nature escapes,
We are bedded in the ground, we are rocks,
We are oaks, we grow in the openings side by side,
We browse, we are two among the wild herds spontaneous as
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together,
We are what locust blossoms are, we drop scent around lanes mornings and evenings,
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals,
We prowl fang'd and four-footed in the woods, we spring on
We are two clouds forenoons and afternoons driving overhead,
We are seas mingling, we are two of those cheerful waves rolling over each other and interwetting each other,
We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious,
We are snow, rain, cold, darkness, we are each product and influence of the globe,
We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again, we
We have voided all but freedom and all but our own joy.
O HYMEN! O HYMENEE!
O HYMEN ! O hymenee ! why do you tantalize me thus?
Why can you not continue? O why do you now cease? Is it because if you continued beyond the swift moment you would soon certainly kill me?
I AM HE THAT ACHES WITH LOVE.
I AM he that aches with amorous love;
Does the earth gravitate? does not all matter, aching, attract all matter?
So the body of me to all I meet or know.